Uric acid tests
Uric acid tests are tests that are done to measure the levels of uric acid in blood serum or in urine
What are Uric acid tests used for?
The uric acid tests are used to evaluate the blood levels of uric acid for gout and to
assess uric acid levels in the urine for kidney stone formation. The urine test is used
most often to monitor patients already diagnosed with kidney stones, but it can also be
used to detect disorders that affect the body's production of uric acid and to help
measure the level of kidney functioning.
What Uric acid tests are looking for.
Uric acid is a waste product that results from the breakdown of purine, a nucleic acid. (Nucleic acids are the building blocks of DNA.) Uric acid is made in the liver and excreted by the kidneys. If the liver produces too much uric acid or the kidneys excrete too little, the patient will have too much uric acid in the blood. This condition is called hyperuricemia. Supersaturated uric acid in the urine (uricosuria) can crystallize to form kidney stones that may block the tubes that lead from the kidneys to the bladder (the ureters).
The uric acid blood test is performed on a sample of the patient's blood, withdrawn from a vein into a vacuum tube. The procedure, which is called a venipuncture, takes about five minutes. The urine test requires the patient to collect all urine voided over a 24-hour period, with the exception of the very first specimen. The patient keeps the specimen container on ice or in the refrigerator during the collection period.
What are abnormal results of Uric acid tests
The critical value for the blood test is a level of uric acid higher than 12 milligrams per deciliter (about 3.4 ounces).
Increased production of uric acid may result from eating foods that are high in purine. Increased uric acid levels due to overproduction may also be caused by gout, by a genetic disorder of purine metabolism, or by metastatic cancer, destruction of red blood cells, leukemia, or cancer chemotherapy.
Decreased excretion of uric acid is seen in chronic kidney disease, low thyroid, toxemia of pregnancy, and alcoholism. Patients with gout excrete less than half the uric acid in their blood as other persons. Only 10-15% of the total cases of hyperuricemia, however, are caused by gout.
Abnormally low uric acid levels may indicate that the patient is taking allopurinol or probenecid for treatment of gout; may be pregnant; or suffers from Wilson's disease or Fanconi's syndrome.
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